A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontal Research found that blackberry extract has antibacterial properties that could help to treat or even prevent gum disease. Apparently researchers looked at the antimicrobial effect of blackberry extract and tested it on 10 different oral bacteria. The results showed that the extract was able to significantly reduce the activity of two bacteria known to contribute towards periodontal or gum disease. These bacteria are called Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum, and activity was reduced by 40%. The blackberry extract was also found to help inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans the primary bacteria found in the tooth decay by approximately 30%. Obviously this is just one study, but the findings might be promising for developing treatments for gum disease in the future.
It’s not the first time that blackberry extract has been studied, as it’s also been linked with being able to prevent the spread of cancer cells, and contains more antioxidants than other berries including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and redcurrants.
A Balanced Diet Is Essential for Oral Health
Certainly all the dentist at Leeds City Dentalcare would agree having a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals and which contains plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is important for oral health. Foods such as fish oil, leafy green vegetables and fish are all thought to be important for gum health. Your body needs these nutrients to be able to fight gum disease, and a healthy diet will help ensure you have a healthy mouth. It’s also well worth getting into the habit of reading food labels, as many foods may have hidden sugars, and it’s a good way of helping you make healthier choices.
If you like to snack in between meals then your choice can make a huge difference to dental health. For instance if you choose foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars then this will increase the acidity of your mouth for longer as they are an excellent source of energy for plaque bacteria. A better choice for snacking in between meals would be a small piece of low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt or raw vegetables or fruit. If you want to have a drink then try to avoid having too much fruit juice as this can be high in sugars. A better choice is to drink diluted fruit juice or to simply have a glass of water or milk.
There’s No Escaping the Need for Great Dental Care
Whatever you choose to eat it’s still absolutely essential to have a great oral hygiene routine, as both tooth decay and gum disease are easily preventable. Everybody should be brushing their teeth for at least 2 minutes twice a day and should use good quality fluoride toothpaste. It’s also essential to floss once a day, or if you can’t get on with flossing to try other means of cleaning in between your teeth. For example many people find interdental brushes a lot easier to use, or you may wish to invest in a WaterPik that works by squirting water in between your teeth to remove plaque bacteria and excess food. These choices can be better for people with limited dexterity who find it difficult to manipulate dental floss.
Visiting our Leeds surgery at regular intervals for check-ups with Dr David Brown is also an important part of your preventative dental care regime. All of the dental team at Leeds City Dentalcare can give you lots of great advice on how to improve your daily dental regime as we believe patient education is extremely important. Our aim is for you to have all the tools and knowledge necessary to have a healthy smile.